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Can I have removal assistance?

If you are moving to another council owned property we can assist you by arranging for our removals service contractor BCL to carry out the work and we will then deduct the cost from your homeloss payment. This saves you the inconvenience of making the arrangements.

The standard price (including VAT) is £228 for a one bedroom flat and £288 for a two bedroom flat.

Optional extras include:

  • the hire packing boxes at £2.00 each

  • disposal of furniture for £14.40 per item

  • disposal of white goods for £18.00 per item

  • uplifting and rolling of carpets (not refitting) at £18.00 per room

If you are interested in this service BCL will visit you to give you an individual quote.

Please note: if you leave any items in the flat when you move the cost of disposal may be deducted from your homeloss payment.

How much time will I have to move?

To help reduce the stress of moving we are giving tenants additional time to complete their transfer and we will backdate the termination of your current tenancy—there will be no rent overlap between the two tenancies.

As a rule it usually takes around four weeks to allow time for removals, disturbance allowance receipt and the completion of move. If you are worried about this then contact the project team to discuss.

At your tenancy sign up your new housing manager will ask you to sign a Short Notice to terminate your existing tenancy from the same date your new tenancy begins.

If I claim Housing Benefit do I have to do a change of address for existing Housing Benefits claimants

As we will backdate the termination of your current tenancy it’s important that any Housing Benefit is transferred from the new tenancy start date.

At your new tenancy sign up your housing manager will assist you in completing a 'Change of address for existing housing/council tax benefit claimants'.

I still haven't discussed my application, who should I speak to?

If you haven’t yet seen the team to discuss/make your application then please get in touch with the team. We can arrange a time to best suit you.

How long will I be given to move home once I have accepted a new tenancy?

Each tenancy will be considered on a case by case basis. This is a large project, with many variables, which makes it impossible to provide tenants with a standard timescale.

Additional time will be allowed between moves where you will not have to pay rent on both tenancies. We will allow sufficient time for the preparation of your new home before you move in and for removals.

I rent a garage in the area. How will this affect me?

If you rent a garage in the demolition area then at some point you will be required to give up the garage tenancy. The Council (or you) can give one week’s notice to terminate the garage agreement that you have. We will not be letting any of the garages that are not currently being used or any that become vacant in the future.

You will eventually need to seek alternative parking. When the time to finally clear the site comes the Council will provide four weeks notice rather one week to end your garage tenancy to give you more time to clear the garage and make those other arrangements.

The Council does have a very limited number of garages in the wider area and should you wish to know more about these then please contact us on our hotline 01384 817788.

What if I move to somewhere that is more expensive, for instance with more bedrooms than my requirement?

You can move to somewhere more expensive, but please note - you will be liable for the rent on where ever you move to and housing benefit will not normally cover extra bedrooms. Future benefit changes planned by central government will limit the amount of housing benefit most people can claim, so if you are likely to be long term unemployed it will make sense to apply for properties with the lowest rents.

You could end up paying more, so if this is a worry for you please ask for our advice.

Can I use my own removal company?

Yes.

If you are transferring to another Council owned property, if you want us to we can make the arrangements for you on your behalf - and you can rest assured that our contractors are insured to move your goods.

If you are moving to private accommodation you may be entitled to a contribution (included within the disturbance allowance) towards your removal costs.

We suggest if you have any items of high value that you take photos of these prior to them being moved for insurance purposes and clarification.

I don’t need to take all my furniture or belongings with me - can I leave them when I move?

Within reason yes. As part of the move you should not be out of pocket. If you are moving to a smaller home you can leave surplus furniture behind and we will recoup any costs through the disturbance allowance.

We ask that you leave your flat reasonably clear and let us know in advance if you need any extra help.

Will you be charging for any damage to the flat?

If there are any instances of damage to the property or excessive rubbish we are entitled to recoup costs – but as the flats will be demolished we intend to take a sensible approach and these will be judged on a case by case basis. You would be notified if we were intending to charge you and you would have the opportunity to appeal.

Can I still investigate my Right to Buy?

No, once demolition notices have been issued the Right to Buy option within these four blocks is suspended.

We will be talking to any residents who have applied for their Right to Buy previously.

You say that you will only undertake emergency repairs - what does that mean?

We will undertake only repair work which covers our statutory requirements and ensures the safety of our residents, the building and any visitors. Essential repairs include heating, lighting, electrics, plumbing, drainage, etc.. We will also undertake repairs and maintenance to communal/common facilities, for example lifts.

We will not be undertaking any programmed repair work to the block or routine minor repairs. If you need a repair you should contact your housing manager or the Repairs Management Centre to check whether it is viable.

What are the plans for the site?

A decision about the future use of the sites has not yet been taken but is likely to be new, lower-density builds than the current high rise blocks with a mixture of private and social housing. This could include a mix of properties for rent, part ownership and potentially outright sale. If we start to make these plans during the clearance programme we will update these pages with more information.

Once empty, the two sites would be declared surplus to requirements and any options necessary to facilitate their redevelopment would be pursued.

Any money generated by any sale of the assets will be ploughed back into Dudley Council’s housing stock.

What about the future of Netherton?

Dudley Council is working hard, within its financial constraints, to ensure the long term future of all of its communities. The regeneration of Netherton will be a key element within the council’s plans, including the redevelopment of these two sites.

Are there proposals to demolish any other blocks at the moment?

Following a recent assessment of council owned properties it was found that there are 2,967 properties which are considered unviable; ie they will cost more to maintain than they will generate in rent. However, this does not mean they will necessarily be demolished. It means that we will need to consider the options and make decisions in consultation with residents.

At the moment no decisions have been taken but we will keep residents informed of any developments.